No Orthodoxy Allowed
Like many Americans, I was raised in a Christian family. However, unlike most Americans, my father was a preacher. Hence I wasn’t simply raised in a church, I was more or less raised by the church. As a child I had dreams of following in my father’s footsteps. These dreams were complicated by questions I had about the religious beliefs I had inherited from my family. My biggest problem was young earth creationism, but there were others.
At the age of 18, I joined the Marine Corps. During boot camp, I attended the protestant services at chapel. In truth, this was basically to get away from the drill instructors for an hour a week. On December 18th 1992 at the age of 18, I graduated boot camp. The preceding Sunday was the last time I voluntarily stepped into a church of my own accord until 2016.
For whatever reason, I started thinking about spiritual things in my 40’s. However, I decided to explore a path free of orthodox Christian beliefs. Thus, I started attending the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cookeville, my home church to this day. And as bizarre as this will sound to anyone familiar with modern UU churches, this began my path back to God.
As I got back into the Bible and things of God, I was surprised by how many things that the church teaches based on church tradition as opposed to Biblical teachings. For example, nowhere in the Bible is the Trinity taught. True, the church surmised that based on Bible verses. However, this is based on their interpretation of those verses. These verses become “proof texts”, but often they are refuted by other verses. This caused me to question the validity of church interpretation.
In March of 2020 I had an experience which I attributed to God. This resulted in my immediate conversion, but to what? Was I a Christian now, or something else? I began to read the Bible avidly to learn about this God I now believed in. What I came to was a set of beliefs that would be heretical in most every church today except the one which I attend. Moreover, while it is not heresy at my church, I am likely the only one there who believes the way I do. Eventually, I fell into the category of the Noahides. Here are my basic beliefs.
- I believe that the God of Abraham and Israel is the one true God.
- God gave laws to the people of the nations to follow, the Seven Laws of Noah.
- By following these laws because God told us to, we will be found righteous in the eyes of God.
- I believe that Jesus was a prophet of God, and I do not rule out the possibility that he is the Messiah who will return.
Most of this isn’t too problematic for the average Christian who reads it. The last point is likely problematic to my Jewish readers. However, here is where I seriously diverge from modern Christianity.
- I believe that God is one, not a trinity.
- Jesus is not God, but rather a human sent by God to deliver his word to 1st century Jews.
- Jesus death on the cross was not a substitutionary atonement.
- The New Testament is not, nor does it claim to be, the inspired word of God.
So where does that leave us?
Hopefully you are interested and will choose to read on. More importantly, I hope you are not offended by my beliefs. I am not the final authority on God. Hence, I readily concede that I am wrong in some of my beliefs. My prayer is that I will figure out where I am wrong so I can adjust those beliefs and become right. And this is where you, the reader comes in.
I ask you to challenge my beliefs that I express in my articles here. However, I also hope that you will consider them. I started this site not just to teach what I believe, but also to learn from others. My goal is that together we will come to a better understanding of God, and His purpose for those of us who believe in Him. All who would like to are hereby formally invited to join me on this journey.